For many years, scientific information was provided primarily in text-based formats, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Increasingly, however, scientists are communicating through multimedia formats (images, videos), and via direct access to their scientific data sets. Information users face some unique challenges in finding scientific information, particularly when it can take several forms. Imagine that a climatologist has created data sets detailing precipitation measurements for the North Slope of Alaska. The climatologist might present these findings first at a meteorological conference, and the presentation might be taped and made available as a video of the conference. Later, the climatologist publishes one or more technical reports, referring to the original data sets. How does a user find all this relevant information?
WorldWideScience offers a solution to finding scientific information, regardless of format. Simply by entering the search terms in a single search box, users can search over 90 databases from around the world. Furthermore, the search results are segmented into text-based information (the “Papers” tab), images and videos (“Multimedia” tab), and data sets (“Data” tab). It’s easy to view results in each tab, and users can quickly access relevant text, videos, and data sets. A variety of English and non-English databases are searched, and WorldWideScience even provides multilingual translations capabilities for 10 languages. As scientific communication becomes progressively more diverse and global in nature, WorldWideScience enables users to identify and locate scientific and technical information in many formats, all with one straightforward search.